Committing to becoming the first "green committee" in the Knesset on Tuesday, the Economic Affairs Committee launched a pilot program to send Knesset members primary and secondary legislation copies via electronic means only.
By offering Knesset members legal texts through electronic platforms – such as laptops and tablets – the committee will be reducing Knesset paper printing by about 30,000 documents annually, the committee's spokesman said. As part of the project, the committee's secretary will transfer all relevant texts to the electronic devices supplied to members at their discussions, according to the committee.
"The cooperation of the committee members will help bring more appropriate environmental conduct, and lead to savings both in quantities of printed paper and in costs," said committee chairman MK Avishay Braverman (Labor).
During the pilot program, representatives from the Knesset's information and technology department will also be present to guide members on the proper use of their electronic handsets and respond to any relevant questions, the committee spokesman added.
The Economic Affairs Committee program occurs under the larger framework for the Green Knesset Program of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and director-general Ronen Plot, which is aiming to transform the legislature into a House that runs on energy-saving principles.
Creating a more sustainable Knesset will involve, among other projects, covering the building's roof with 3,600 sq.m. of solar panels and revamping water, air conditioning and lighting systems. In addition, two electric vehicle charging spots have already been installed in the parking lot, and plastic water bottles have been eliminated from committee meetings.
Plot welcomed the Economic Affairs Committee pilot program, calling Tuesday a "historic day" at a launch ceremony for the project that morning.
"I believe that the Economic Affairs Committee pilot will succeed quickly and soon be adopted in all of the committees," Plot said. "We will put all papers aside and move forward with another step in the Green Knesset project, helping protect the environment and bringing savings on paper and a lot of money."